In her artistic work, Mexican-Chilean-Austrian artist and choreographer Amanda Piña explores relations between the loss of cultural and biological diversity.
As part of the project Climate Imaginaries at Sea, Amanda hosted two public events : “Water Talks”on September 28, 18.00-21.30 at DAS Graduate School, and in a public walk titled “Agua es Futuro!” through the Waterleidingduinen on October 6, 15.00 – 20.00. At these two events, the open exchange format provided a place for encounters between artistic research, indigenous knowledge, activism and scientific research.
Various local experts from the fields of benthic ecology, water governance, geoscience and critical ocean studies provided insights into their disciplines and shared their view of the world using the example of the complex delta of the Netherlands and the specific territory of the Waterleidingduinen. These experts entered into dialogue with Amanda Piña´s praxis articulated through The School of Mountains and Waters*. Together they created an exchange weaving artistic, scientific, experiential and indigenous perspectives and responses that aimed at challenging traditional hierarchies in forms of knowledge and thought. In dialogue with the audience, the «Water Talks», reflected and speculated on present and future relationships between water, mountains, people, animals, wetlands and forests, allowing us to re-think value systems and at the same time design old new alternatives.
*The School of Mountains and Waters is a school of unlearning the modern/colonial idea of the human as pre-existent and separate from that which sustains its life. The different activities of the school invite to establish caring relationships between human bodies and bodies of mountains, glaciers and water.
The School of Mountains and Waters is a school of unlearning the modern/colonial idea of the human as pre-existent and separate from that which sustains its life. The different activities of the school invite to establish relationships of care between human bodies and bodies of mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers, estuaries, forests, peat land, and water.
The School of Mountains and Waters draws on the history of drinking water in the city of Amsterdam, and its distribution among communities in contrast with current and future political and ecological concerns. Almost a third of The Netherlands is below sea level, the delta in which it is located makes it a low-lying country predisposed to flooding. For centuries the country has been battling with waters. The actual process of sea level rise, as a consequence of capitalocenic climate change, bring forth questions of adaptation, energy transition, and social and ecological justice.
This artistic research project is an inquiry into the limitations of thinking about the living territory through the notion of nation-state, thinking with the help of other forms of thought on the way in which waters are co-produced by the different beings/ bodies that take part in its generative cycle.
The School of Mountains and Waters draws on the history of drinking water in the city of Amsterdam, its distribution among communities in contrast with current and future political and ecological concerns. Almost a third of The Netherlands is below sea level, the delta in which it is located makes it a low- lying country predisposed to flooding. For centuries the country has been battling with waters. The actual process of sea level rising, as a consequence of capitalocenic climate change, bring forth questions of adaptation, energy transition and social and ecological justice.
This artistic research project is an inquiry on the limitations of thinking the living territory through the notion of nation state, thinking with the help with other forms of thought on the way in which waters are co-produced by the different beings/ bodies that take part in its generative cycle.
The School of Mountains and Waters relates to the territory and the people who inhabit it through various disciplines: indigenous knowledge and practices, history, critical geography, natural and social sciences, (glaciology, geology, anthropology, sociology) and visual and performative arts. The project is proposed as a context in which to rehearse an ecology of forms of knowing.
Initiated by Chilean-Mexican artist- researcher Amanda Piña, The School of Mountains and Waters is framed within a long-term research into the ongoing loss of cultural and biological diversity entitled Endangered Human Movements*, the first part of the project in Amsterdam will be realized with DAS students in the frame of the project Climate imaginaries at sea.
* Endangered Human Movements is the title of a long-term project, started in the year 2014, focusing on human movement practices which have been cultivated for centuries all over the world. Within this frame, a series of performances, workshops, films, installations, talks, publications and a comprehensive online archive are developed, in which ancestral embodied practices -movements, dances and forms of world-making – re-appear in the context of the theatre, the museum and beyond. This re-appearance of ancestral forms of movement entails a movement towards decolonizing contemporary arts and culture by introducing critical perspectives from the fields of anthropology, history, philosophy, visual arts, dance, choreography and contemporary-traditional indigenous Amerindian knowledge, the latter encompassing not only contemporary shamanism but also orally transmitted knowledge, social knowledge about the body, about movement and touch, about healing, about plants, about perception, about the interconnectedness of life forms and about ritual diplomatic knowledge applied to the relationship with other beings.
Research questions The School of Mountains and Waters works with:
Can body base artistic practices generate a different awareness in relation to the urgent situation of imbalance of the systems of earth?
Which practices can contribute to understand bodies of water as something other than H2O?
Would it be possible to think of water from a perspectives of care and ancenstrality?
Could that have agency in the way we know it, in the way that our lives and our geography depend on it?
Through which strategies can we make artworks addressing the issues of territories threaten by the challanges of a well advance climate crisis?
What is an alternative to site specific?
Can we think of the land, the territory as the pedagogy? What do we need to unlearn in order to be able to learn from the territory?
What types of words do we need to use? What sort of narratives can support the topicality of climate justice?
Working methodologies- ways of doing and undoing what we know
We aim to work with methods tested in other iterations of schools situated in different countries where territory and water and its conditions under climate change constituted the focal point to create narratives and images to produce experiences to learn from.
Independent paths of investigation are going to serve us to understand and interact with perspectives from diverse fields of knowledge and practices helping us to sharpen the view on what it means to be part of the challenging realities that exploitation of resources supposes to the present limited existence of live.